New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told the Republican National Convention that Americans need to “choose respect over love” in order to take the country back.
“I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved. Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times,” he said. “Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say ‘yes,’ rather than to say no when ‘no’ is what’s required.”
The no-holds-barred governor said that “we must lead the way our citizens live: To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it.”
Christie gave examples of the successes he’s achieved in his home state by standing up to teachers unions, cutting taxes while balancing the budget, and reforming the public pension system.
“The people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice. They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered,” he said. “We shouldn’t be surprised. We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth.”
“I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America,” the governor added.
Christie called the Democrats’ plan “whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.”
He advocated believing in the power of teachers over teachers union, and believing that seniors are not selfish when considering entitlement reform for future generations.
“We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles,” Christie said. “…We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.”
The governor dedicated a short block of his keynote to the Romney-Ryan ticket, saying “we have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction, and now he has a running mate who will do the same.”
But the bulk of Christie’s speech was the GOP superstar’s game plan to reform business as usual.
“There’s only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll,” he said. “You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.”
“Now it’s our time to answer history’s call. For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we,” Christie said. “What will our children and grandchildren say of us? Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t? Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?”
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century,” he continued. “…Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one.”
As Christie wrapped up his speech, he urged the crowd to jump to its feet.
“If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you,” he said. “If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.”
“Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us,” Christie said. “…And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness.”